Documentation is an integral part of businesses. Flowcharting is a way to document your business processes and the primary tool used to analyze them. It is a visualization technique that demonstrates these business processes in a sequence, making them easier to understand.
However, many managers are still unaware of the usefulness of flowcharts. If you are one of them, this guide is for you.
What Is A Flowchart?
A flowchart is a diagram used to elaborate and represent the sequential steps and decisions of business processes. To draw a flowchart, you would need some shapes or symbols to indicate the sequence of the steps. Lines and arrows are then used to show the relation or link between these shapes. They also tell you the processes’ direction or movement.
These process diagrams are standardized, which makes them easy for anyone to understand at a glance. Hence, businesses can use these flowcharts to guide their stakeholders on how the logical flow of information contributes to the processes.
To use any flowchart to define your business processes, first understand its components properly. Shapes and symbols are standardized components of a flowchart – they have a specific meaning. You can refer to the following list to understand the significance of these shapes:
Uses Of Flow Charts For Businesses
Every business process involves carrying out a series of tasks to reach a particular outcome (product or service). You can draft a flowchart for almost any business process, which makes it easier for the stakeholders to follow.
Here are some ways businesses have been using flowcharts:
Document Approval Process
In this process, some primary actions are put up for approval or denial. Let’s see how it works with a flowchart:
- At the first stage, a document is submitted
- In the second stage, either the document is accepted or denied by the stakeholders
- The results are recorded, which are then sent in an email to the relevant party
Incident Response Process
No business can entirely eliminate the risks. So, when a threat occurs, you can’t avoid it altogether. However, it can be mitigated through best practices. Usually, teams have a plan in place, which is documented as a flowchart for instant implementation. For example:
- A security threat occurs
- A group of experts evaluates the danger
- If the threat is severe, the company’s executives are notified through email
- An emergency meeting is held at the managerial level
- The managers propose and ask for the implementation of a permanent solution
- The process is complete
Employee Onboarding Process
This process should be smooth and seamless to facilitate new employees and make their first few days entirely trouble-free. Outlining the onboarding process using a flowchart can make it reasonably quick and easy to figure out what they are supposed to do.
Here’s how the process of employee onboarding is outlined:
- Legal documents are sent to the new employee by HR
- Once the papers are filled out, HR and management approve them
- The news of the new hire is shared with the rest of the company
- An office manager of the relevant department introduces the new employee and gets them the supplies and network access, etc.
These are just a few examples of how a process flowchart can help in making standard business processes more transparent and straightforward. It is one of the best tools to bring all members on the same page. All of them will know what needs to happen next and how they will execute it. As a result, the processes become relatively smooth and efficient.
Benefits Of Process Flowcharts
A process flowchart is beneficial to a business in many ways. You can use them for:
- Standardization: Since there will be a standard procedure to approach a goal, the stakeholders will face no trouble achieving it. All they will have to do is follow the process.
- Process Improvement: Before a flowchart is drafted for a particular process, it goes through data collection, evaluation, and verification stages. This helps identify and address any bottlenecks or missing or unnecessary steps, making room for process improvement.
- Defined Operating Procedures: Using a flowchart, you and your team can achieve better training, quality control, and employee understanding.
You can produce great value in your work with the help of flowcharts. Everything is possible with a flowchart, whether you want to draft a manufacturing process, logic sequence of work, or an organizational chart. Additionally, this visualization technique always comes in handy when communicating a work process more efficiently.